The housemates are already poorly
with something resembling glandular fever
when Carmel, the least ill, opens the door
to a pumice-faced pair
who sprinkle holy water, roaring
I exorcise this house in the name of the Lord.
Still fully clothed that night,
and even with body heat
and three hot-water bottles
permeating between the eight of them,
the housemates defy all common sense
by shifting up into one bed,
shivering and shivering.